How can I prevent injuring my neck, or neck injuries?
Roughly 35% of us will experience a meaningful bout of neck pain at one point in our lives.
There are several simple steps that one can take to take to reduce in likelihood of hurting, or otherwise injuring our neck. You can start by trying to avoid activities that put in excess of stress on your neck. Certain activities compromise the neck and make it more vulnerable to injury. Activities that involve holding your head in forward postures for extended durations is a very common, but often overlooked, source of excessive strain on the cervical spine. Building strengthen the muscles that stabilize neck can also help reduce the probability of neck injury. Well-toned neck muscles will not strain as easily and can even help to minimize the impact of violent sudden head movements experienced in a whiplash injury or car accident. Resting your neck when starting to feel the onset of some discomfort can also go a long way to preventing genuine neck injury.
Sometimes muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissues of the cervical spine need an opportunity to recover before being prepared to tolerate the rigors of a more active day. Many people also carry in excess of stress in their neck when they feel upset or otherwise anxious. Constantly clenched muscles of the neck can make them vulnerable to injury due to related fatigue and inelasticity. Consider managing your stress through healthy means such as yoga, meditation, or participating in regular exercise.
If you are starting to experience progressively more significant and persistent neck pain consider contacting a physical therapist for a more thorough assessment and recommendations on how you might begin managing your complaints in the interest of avoiding true injury.